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Frames, HTML and CSS

From: John Whelan <whelan@itp.unibe.ch>
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 09:18:25 -0400 (EDT)
Message-id: <199908091317.PAA09051@itpserver>
To: www-style@w3.org
Quoth George Lund:

> Although frames weren't quite deprecated with HTML 4, their use was
> effectively prohibited in the strict DTD because of the lack of the
> target attribute. The reason that CSS 2 does not address frames is that
> it can effectively replace frames altogether.

This has been asserted as a vague idea, but if you can show me a
detailed demonstration of how this is practically accomplished, I'd
like to see it.

> I reckon frames might actually (have) be(en) OK if the default target
> was _top and the target attribute had been removed completely.

I disagree; that would reduce frames to a layout language.  The
ability to have a static menu frame which changes the contents of a
content frame can be functionally useful.  Also, rebuilding a frameset
every time a link is followed is *more* annoying to users of non-frame
browsers.

Frames would have been a lot better if they had been designed from the
start to degrade usefully, for instance by using a modified <a element
in place of <frame.

> But
> frames are Netscape's baby and they were broken from the start.

Unfortunately, they're not going to go away, so it's in the interest
of conscientious authors and developers to find ways of handling them
that fit into good design practices (like un-deprecating target= so
that "strict" pages can be usefully seen inside frames).  For
instance, see http://www.slack.net/~whelan/cgi-bin/tbrw.cgi for an
example of how CGI and SSI can be used to produce bookmarkable
framesets.
					John T. Whelan
					whelan@iname.com
					http://www.slack.net/~whelan/

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Received on Friday, 13 August 1999 13:55:51 GMT

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